Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
How should we act if we have family members who were close to us but suddenly distanced themselves? Before, we used to do everything together, birthdays, and share all our joys, but recently, they have been celebrating themselves without us, which has been quite shocking.
We have always been good to them, and we tried to call them over and meet up, but they keep declining. This change was very sudden, but my question is, should we continue this effort because now it feels insulting to keep running after them and them declining, or should we leave things how they are and maintain this distance?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration, and I pray that you can find a solution that is better for you and your relatives.
You should start by openly asking them what is wrong. Meet in a neutral space like a coffee shop so everyone is comfortable and doesn’t feel intimidated. Ask them why they have been distant, and keep an open mind. They might say something unexpected that has nothing to do with you, or they might accuse you of hurting them. Be prepared to apologize. Most importantly, don’t hold a grudge. Continue to be polite with them and do the minimum that family members should be doing; I am sure that all will fall into place.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Neither nurse a grudge nor sever (the ties of kinship), nor nurse enmity.” [Muslim]
You should not chase after them if they keep declining your invitations. Now is the time to include different friends and relatives in your life. Choose religious, positive people who are sincere. Remember that if Allah is causing this to happen, there must be a reason, and it could be a blessing in disguise. Assess yourself and pray on time, read the Quran, and practice Islam as best as you can. Make dua, and ask Allah to use you as a means of goodness and guidance.
Please say this dua daily:
“يا حَـيُّ يا قَيّـومُ بِـرَحْمَـتِكِ أَسْتَـغـيث ، أَصْلِـحْ لي شَـأْنـي كُلَّـه ، وَلا تَكِلـني إِلى نَفْـسي طَـرْفَةَ عَـين”
“O Ever-Living One, O Eternal One, by Your mercy, I call on You to set right all my affairs.” [Muslim]
Please see these links as well:
- Why Do Fellow Muslims Mock My Name and Ignore Me?
- Can One Cut Ties with a Narcissistic Friend Who Mistreats Him?
- What Should I Do Amongst All the Drama and Hate Between My Relatives?
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin and completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.